Material and history are being lost, slipping and eroding, from a tangible constant to an endless series of mutations. The richness and depth of older books is universally respected yet often undiscovered as users need a quicker, slicker bite of information. The book’s intended function has decreased. Its relevance is still vital but the content stays sedentary and the form remains linear in a non-linear world. We are left with raw material.
In my upcoming show for MOCA GA I continue to question the past, present and future of the book by exploring and expanding possibilities and perspectives of the book’s form and its content. In this show iconic forms and symbols from early childhood education are deconstructed and represented in new ways. Encyclopedia sets merge to form tall towers and pixilated patterns as the symbols and ideas from the past are broken down to basic elements. Long rows of paperbacks are compressed and sanded into solid wooden forms. Books on games reveal new matrices as a result of strategy and chance. A chart inspired by a thesaurus follows thousands of potential paths of meaning that spring from a single word. Images of state flags are dissected and reconstructed to present a new vocabulary about locality from existing symbols of authority.
Authoritative materials and images adapt to amplify their own physicality while raising questions about their own internal meaning and the structures they rely on to communicate. In the past, ideas were recorded and saved in solid forms but in today’s intangible world we may be left with nothing. Foundations are threatened and history is lost as formats change and structures erode. We are at a pivotal moment as the monopoly of the book breaks down and elementary concepts and symbols are losing their traditional forms to be reformatted for the future.
ABOUT Brian Dettmer
Brian Dettmer is known for his detailed and innovative sculptures with books and other forms of analog media. Dettmer has had solo shows in New York, Chicago, Miami, San Francisco, Atlanta and Barcelona. His work has been exhibited throughout North America and Europe at galleries and museums including the Museum of Arts and Design (NY), The Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institute (DC), the Museum of Contemporary Art (GA), The Chicago Cultural Center (IL), and Museum Rijswijk (Netherlands) among many others. His work has been featured on the CBS Evening News, The New York Times (US), The Los Angeles Times (US), The Guardian (UK), Chicago Tribune (US), Art News, Modern Painters, Wired, and National Public Radio among others. Earlier this year Dettmer had a solo show at the University of Maribor in Maribor, Slovenia as part of its celebration as the European Capital of Culture for 2012. Dettmer is originally from Chicago. He currently resides in Atlanta where he is represented by Saltworks Gallery. His WAP Studio Assistant was Ashley Schick.
Last night I held in my hand an advance copy of The Last Vispo Anthology. I had high expectations for Fantagraphics--designer, production team, printer, publishers Gary Groth and Kim Thompson; what I held in my hand was a quantum leap above my expectations. The cover is to die for, vispoems pop off the varnished pages, and the binding is sewn to last for years (if this is the last, we want it to have a shelf-life, eh?).
I want this to be the first of many toasts and huzzahs and hurrahs to Nico Vassilakis, my co-editor. Editing poetry publications for the last three decades has been a joy, but this experience has been particularly joyous. Kudos and hugs, Nico. We done good. A project conceived during or after several conversations with Geof Huth and Jim Andrews (as we prepared for an ensemble poetry performance in Seattle), has been over four years in the making. All that time and space--the sporadic back and forth, quiet and sparse and then furious, at a distance or face-to-face--buoys every page of this anthology. I look forward to the less-than-quiet times ahead as this book marches off into the world.
Cover image by Deborah Meadows
$13.45 + p&h
This book explores influence by crossing out or responding to poets who have
influenced me. The Whitman and Andrade pieces are cross-outs, and anyone
familiar with the first version of C*alamus* will notice that I did not
respond to the entire collection. I left out pieces that I did not think
would cut well for my project or pieces that have too much personal meaning
for me. The response pieces to Leopardi and Neruda are probably even more
telling, for in these pieces, it is sometimes difficult to see how the
pieces directly relate to the original. Still, the influence is there
reworked through my experience. —*William Allegrezza*
*William Allegrezza* edits the e-zine *Moria* and teaches at Indiana
University Northwest. He has previously published five books, *In the
Weaver's Valley*, *Ladders in July*, *Fragile Replacements*, *Collective
Instant, *and *Covering Over*; two anthologies, *The City Visible: Chicago
Poetry for the New Century **and **La Alteración del Silencio: Poesía
Norteamericana Reciente*; seven chapbooks, including
*Sonoluminescence*(co-written with Simone Muench) and
*Filament Sense* (Ypolita Press); and many poetry reviews, articles, and
poems. He founded and curated *series* *A*, a reading series in Chicago,
from 2006-2010. In addition, he occasionally posts his thoughts at
In 2008, ManyPenny Press released TEXT LOSES TIME by Nico Vassilakis. This necessary work spans roughly 15 years of the author’s efforts in both textual and visual writing. It is Vassilakis’ first full-length book.
TEXT LOSES TIME
Afterword by Nick Piombino
CONTACT AND ORDERING INFORMATION:
1111 E. Fifth St.
$12.76 ( + $3 postage (Order directly from the press and we'll include previous issues of SCORE).
A boy or girl, Vellum, blows a few papers in the wind It answers noise Hopping, hopped. Tapping, tapped Swim sweet twins swing twig Think of losing, serendipity or the wings of a sentence He will get them, but not tell you where they were I like to drink through my brother’s center A finger’s rose begins A shadow grows down the sidewalk Clapping, clapped It helps to rip this box open Sound harbor, sound hole Blind rose is a very shape friend I want a shirt to visit my slacks Moon noose soon loose A good look at the cookbook - lots of o’s - ghost epaulets on the shoulders of a paragraph Dishes mixes, buses guesses I sit down to work; I draw with my right hand The response sadly is never Living as wide as it gets Think sift You could fault the long moth, the dog lost in soft fog, but it’s the song’s cost, its crust I got frogs in my throat, a forehead throat Boris said, “Your throat’s red.” Timothy hums a nail into the wood I run uphill swimming The test isn’t over The floor’s hard The new girl at school Can you look at a book without getting caught on a line? Like radio, writing is a broadcast They found people in the mailbox A huge gem in a cage Susan flips back to the glossary Only a certain type of fastener The letter “R” in each corner of a page Unexpectedly the middle is empty Next, write your best trick Most banjo Odd pretty piece asleep A drum whisking discard into cream In this way we raise our pigs on fire & Kenny is always six yards old The donkey said, “Enough.” The donkey said, “English.” Dark thoughts won’t cure light sickness The ladder moved slightly throws the world in disarray The teacher’s a bird and flies out the window They had found their clown center Art will say, “I like to pitch. What is your name?” Art will say, “Hi, I’m Art. I like to pitch. What’s your name?” Slowly toward a large bird Paper hats, cats A lot of noise comes to visit Long thin water in a line of people I called you once today to say geese make a village of gold & both of my little friends like to sing. Their secret voices are beautiful Spray Spray Spray
This book intends to present both verbal and visual poetries as equal. Though notions of poetics have shifted and swerved, what has stayed solid throughout is that the alphabet, the word – however arranged – contains, within it, dual significance. First, the proto-historic role of the visual conveyance of represented fact. Second, the overriding desire of human utterance to substantiate existence. In conjoining these two models this book hopes to form a third, blurred value. Thought and experience are factors that accrue, while staring and writing help resolve and conclude. Text itself is an amalgam of units of meaning. As you stare at text you notice the visual aspects of letters. As one stares further, meaning loses its hierarchy and words discorporate and the alphabet itself begins to surface. Shapes, spatial relations and visual associations emerge as one delves further. Alphabetic bits or parts or snippets of letters can create an added visual vocabulary amidst the very text one is reading. One aim, to this end, is to merge and hinge visual and textual writing into workable forms. This book collects some of these experiments.
Nico Vassilakis was born in New York City in 1963. He has co-written and performed a one-man play about experimental composer Morton Feldman. Vassilakis is co-founder and curator for the Subtext Reading Series and editor of Clear-Cut: Anthology (A Collection of Seattle Writers). He has been a guest-editor of WOS#35: Northwest Concrete and Visual Poetry and his visual poetry videos have been shown worldwide at festivals and exhibitions of innovative language arts. In 1998, Vassilakis co-produced, with Rebecca Brown, a 24-hour “Gertrude Stein-a-thon.” His work has appeared in numerous magazines, including Ribot, Caliban, Aufgabe, Chain, Talisman, Central Park and Golden Handcuffs Review. He works for Fantagraphic Books and lives in Seattle with his son, Quixote. With Crag Hill, he edited The Last Vispo Anthology: 1998-2008, a major anthology of visual poetry, due out in 2012 from Fantagraphics.
Askew (bcc press), Stampologue (RASP), Orange: A Manual (Sub Rosa Press), Diptychs: Visual Poems (Otolith), Pond Ring (nine muses books), sequence (Burning Press), Enoch and Aloe (Last Generation Press), TheColander (housepress), FlattenedMissive (P.I.S.O.R. Publications), SpeciesPieces (gong press), KYOO (Burning Press) and others.
COMMENTS ON TEXT LOSES TIME:
“Part nested Minimalist cubes and part laser light that won't diverge across distance, Nico Vassilakis' poetry seems to ask whether we are primates at play on a baseball diamond of memory and desire beside mural-lined public structures slipping toward infinite regression.
Richly iterative, these pairings and alphabets escape the mirror to thrill us with variation and sting all forms of complacency. Vassilakis extends Oulipian strategies: Perec references, lamellisections, crystalline build-outs and transpositions, a scat of nonrepresentational vocables, lettered whirlwinds giving speed for legibility, -- "extracting the gem through layers of gauze" and, other times, lowering a gem into a fold.
Can an argument between a machine that produces texts and "longhand into tiny notebooks" wake us up? In pain, "the throbbing thumb" makes us "attend to the living."
If Vassilakis revises the rock lyric "meet-the-new-boss, same-as-the-old-boss" to "meet the solipsistic era. same as the old solipsistic era," is treatment to be had in a bar, a science lab, or will it reach us over the radio? Try a road trip, so "you can't afford to blink, to be blind for even a second" going through a colander out where dust is breeding and "glass traps lighting" like no scene you've seen in quite this way. Through crevices, perforations, punctures, piercings, pinholes, see neighborhoods as "that place where organized sleeping happens." So, look for a faceted colony that "sometimes congeals."”
“Nico Vassilakis' Text Loses Time unhinges the folds of the book and the word; as the 'folded loose leafed sheets whiz past your ears' you can hear the echoes of meaning. The words flake off the page like aged paint leaving a patina of colour and meaning on the surface and a growing heap of signification at our feet. Here the means of writing rise up and turn against our expectation, lurching into new spaces. Letters become tactile, meaning becomes rubbery, and both reading and writing become a new collaboration.”
Received a copy of Crystal Curry's Our Chrome Arms of Gymnasium from Slope Editions some months ago. I can't get down to writing much about it.............BECAUSE I can't stop reading the damn book aloud and aloud and aloud...
Winner of Slope Editions 2009's book prize, selected by Dara Weir, Curry's book is a robust, baroque romp. Language as body, words, phrases, lines commingling, sensual--sexual, but not in the pedestrian carnal sense...
Typically, alliteration and assonance in such heavy doses is a cold shower; in this collection, these sterile devices flirt and tease and tickle (my glee was continual, tantric)...
...Look for a more extensive review forthcoming once I can stop myself from reading these poems ALOUD!
Visaul poetry / Collages and rubberstamping. A6 format - 48 pages - laser printing. Thread and quarter cloth binding December 2010 price: 15 euro / 20 US $ / 13 UK Sterling . . . . . .
. . .
Since 1976, Scott Helmes has been a leading international figure in experimental poetry. Work has been published in notable magazines, including Poetry, Paris Review, Tam Tam and the Notre Dame Review. Recent poems have been published or exhibited in India, Turkey, Cuba, Russia and England.
He is also a founding member of the Be Blank Consort. As a writer, his work has appeared in Print, Minneapolis- St. Paul, Minnesota Monthly, and Whistling Shade, including non-fiction and fiction.
As an artist, mail artist and photographer, he exhibited throughout the world. His work is included in museum collections world wide and his writing archive from 1972 to 1997 is in the Avant Writing Collection of The Ohio State Libraries. Scott Helmes lives in St. Paul, MN, USA.
Marzipan Factory is the most original
and enticing book of poems I have read in years. It is Kafkaesque and yet
tender, cynical and yet warm, elliptical and yet wholly immediate. Grzegorz
Wróblewski can take the most ordinary of phenomena and then give them the twist
of a knife: to "spare" the life of a living organism—a "dry" tangerine for
instance—is, from another angle, to forget it. The pleasures and terrors of
sex, of age, of the fear of death, of the deceptions of our social life, have
rarely been so brutally—yet wittily and charmingly—documented as they are in
these short, often gnomic poems, surprisingly well rendered in Adam Zdrodowski’s
translation. Grzegorz Wróblewski restores one’s faith in the power of lyric
poetry to renew itself. — Marjorie Perloff
poems are ironic and serious, quick and probing, nailed to place and character
but soaring in imagination. If you haven't read his poems, it's not too late to
start and this new volume is the perfect place to do that. —John Z.
A Marzipan Factory will
also be available through Amazon shortly.
1. I weigh the flour and water,
which I recommend, because depending on your measuring cups (and/or measuring
skill), poems can vary wildly.
2. 1st, That the grace of God
shines gloriously in the justifying of a sinner through the righteousness of
Christ. 2dly, That it is a dreadful sin to frustrate the grace of God. 3dly,
That all who seek righteousness by the law, they do frustrate the grace of
God. 4thly, That no true sound believer can be guilty of this sin.
Frustrating the grace of God is a sin that no poem can commit.
3. If you're extremely tuned in
to your poem's rhythms, you may begin to suspect you're pregnant soon after
4. But the small, dull weight
continued to drag and nag.
5. The night opens her lap.
6. I have not relinquished and
will not relinquish poetry.
to the contrary blaring from conservative television, America
grows through its economic, political and cultural interactions with the international
community, importing and exporting not only commodities and resources, but also
languages, customs, economic/political innovations, and, in surprisingly
profound ways, transformative art. American music has incorporated the rhythms
of Africa, South America, and the Caribbean into its jazz, rock, and folk
music; America has infused the movement of dances from around the world into
its choreography (is there a less insular art form than dance, motion
translatable in ways that images and words are not?); and America has folded
the indeterminacy of French literary theory into its poetry, to highlight how
American art but in a few instances has been influenced from afar. Yet America
also virulently excludes, flings up economic and cultural barriers, battening
down its hatches. Though most of the political spectrum in the U.S. is currently
recoiling from world citizenship, one side of the aisle has taken so many knee-jerk
reactions in the last decade I can’t tell if that’s a kneecap I’m seeing or a bald
In Shoulder Season, however, Ange Mlinko is
no blind-folded superpatriot. Through poetry, she takes a Whitmanesque bear hug
of the world thriving above and beyond the arbitrary borders of nation-states...